When news happens send us your pictures, video and views. Text BE to 80360 or contact us by email
Accused: Eleven facing court over £4m mortgage fraud charges
8:03am Friday 21st September 2012 in Latest
MORTGAGE brokers are accused of joining forces with a legal worker and housebuyers to commit mortgage fraud totalling nearly £4 million, a court was told.
Eleven people have appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court to face a total of 19 charges of fraud.
One conveyancing clerk, two mortgage brokers, seven property buyers and the wife of a broker deny all the charges in the trial, which is expected to last eight weeks.
A twelfth defendant, also a broker, denies involvement and is being tried in his absence.
Opening the case, prosecutor David Bartlett said property prices were inflated and mortgages higher than the value of the properties were obtained using forged documents.
Surplus cash was then kept by one of more of the defendants in each of the purchases, he added.
In most cases the buyers had no intention of paying mortgage instalments, said Mr Bartlett, and they were happy for the properties to be re-possessed because they did not live in them.
The loss to lenders, mainly the Halifax, was around £100,000 per property, the court was told.
Amanda Powis, 44, of Riggs Gardens, Bournemouth, was described as “the principal defendant” and faces 17 charges. She worked as a conveyancing clerk in the Broadstone office of Harold G Walker solicitors at the time of the alleged offences, between 2003 and 2006.
Mortgage broker Alex Chiswell, 33, of Tangmere Rise, Eastleigh, formerly of Premier Finance Consultants in Charminster, is charged with 10 offences.
His wife, Lisa, 34, formerly Lisa Harvey, of the same address, is accused of two offences after £43,000 was allegedly deposited in her bank account in two transactions.
Broker Colin Zaczyk, 40, of Bassetwood Drive, Southampton, faces five charges, and fellow broker Peter King, 43, of Coventry Crescent, Poole, is being tried on one charge in his absence.
The seven buyers charged are Dermot O'Malley-Keyes, 60, and his wife, Madeleine, 59, both of Southbourne Road, Bournemouth, who are charged with five and two offences respectively, Lee Smith, 32, of Cavendish Place, Bournemouth, Paul Morgan, 36, of Etches Close, Bournemouth and Maxine Gribben, 38, from Luton, who face one charge each and John Hudson, 51, of Commercial Road, Bournemouth and Robert Baird of Juniper Close, Andover, charged with two offences each.
The jury of seven women and five men was also told that Nicholas Sweet, who worked alongside Alex Chiswell in Premier Estates in Charminster, has already pleaded guilty to involvement in three charges.
The trial continues.